Passage Note #85 - Goodbye Marquesas!!!
Planting our pampelmousse tree in Taiohae with the help of Henri's son and friend
We say goodbye to Henri with Leslie and Eric of svKandu (who became a real part of the Taiohae community) and will be departing a few weeks after us.
“Enana au i oto otou ho’upo”
Following November on the east coast of the U.S. for our family Thanksgiving tradition and our return to Hiva Oa via Tahiti for the much anticipated Matava’a Marquesan Cultural Festival in December, it was time for the holidays in the tropical heat. The 2016 austral summer was in full swing. While we waited out the cyclone season this El Niño year in the Marquesas, we revisited several of the islands and many of our friends in the subsequent 5 months. Couldn’t think of a better way to wait for the weather to settle until it was safe to sail to the neighboring archipelago of the Tuamotu Islands!
After nearly one year in the wonderful Marquesas, we are both very sad to leave these beautiful islands with their beautiful people......we leave but a part of us remains. In Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, Henri helped us plant a pampelmousse tree so one day we hope to return and harvest the fruit. We also became sponsors of the Children’s Va’a (outrigger canoe) program for the youngest kids who needed pint-sized canoes, paddles, and life jackets. This is their national sport so the younger they start, the better chance the Marquesas will have to excel in Polynesian competitions. Besides fostering pride, it will promote better health through increased exercise. We sealed the deal over dinner at Philippe and Cecilia's home with svKandu. Six months later, the project was put in place with the purchase of two new va'a and all the necessary equipment. The smiling faces of the children say it all. We are particularly proud to "pay it forward" with this sponsorship. Watch the special videos in the Media section of the website. One is the traditional baptism of the va'a and a second is a "thank you" performance for us.
These are threads to keep us connected to a place and people we have grown to love. So Linda bids farewell to our local friends in their own Marquesan language (which she speaks better than French):
“Enana au i oto otou ho’upo” (“I am Marquesan in my heart”)
“Koutau Nui” ("Thank you!")
We became sponsors of a new program in Nuku Hiva for the very young children to start paddling early.
Our sponsorship of this program in Nuku Hiva was a great source of pride to us. The kids' smiling faces say it all!
What follows are a few visual mementos of our island reprise and experiences during our last five months in the Marquesas Islands.
Holidays and lots of socializing!! An excursion to Taaoa - a sacred site that was used as a dance venue during the Matava'a Festival. Chuck replaced some rigging wires and installed our new windvane rudder. Friday night dinners at the roulotte (food truck) on the quay. Watching the children dance at the school festival (Kermesse). Cool showers at the public facility on hot afternoons. Internet at Hiva Oa Pearl Lodge.
Christmas: Under the Polynesian Mistletoe
Oh la la!! Make sure the French cruisers come with their apple tarts!!
A venue for dance presentations during the Matava'a Festival
Cape courtesy of Nicole on svNaoma
This is where we went for internet
Taking a shower of cool clean river water was great in those hot summer afternoons of Hiva Oa!
We occasionally hung out at the Hiva Oa Pearl Lodge for a luxurious day of swimming, lunch, and internet. Thanks Jean Jacques and the gang!
School festival at St. Anne's (Kermesse)....the school was around when Paul Gauguin lived in Atuona
School festival (Kermesse)
Protestant Church dedication in Vaitahu on Linda's Birthday. Visits with Cyril and Hemana in Hapitoni. Lots more snorkeling. Anchoring at Hanemenino. Return to Hanamoenoa (which we nicknamed "Green Flash Bay" since there was a green flash almost every sunset) and visits with Steven.
The reopening of the small Protestant church (most Marquesans are Catholic) coincided with Linda's birthday so the community festivities felt almost like a personal celebration! Linda drummed with the women musicians (Tahuata is the only island where the women play the drums).
Big wooden bowls of food cooked in a traditional oven (umu) were brought in for the rededication celebration of the Protestant Church
Women giving flowers to visitors on Valentine's Day
A beautiful anchorage near Hapitoni where dolphins often swim.
Lunch with Cyril, the expert carver, and Hemana at their home. Hemana taught Linda how to make breadfruit fritters.
Pelagic baby octopus living on our anchor chain
Hanging around the anchor chain with our keel in the background
A dolphin escort from Vaitahu to Hana Te Fau
Hiva Oa in the background
Car tour with Jerome to see the west side of the island. Visit to say goodbye to Marguerite and Keith.
We ate a gourmet lunch prepared by master chef Tipiero at his restaurant
Good times at Henri's cafe on the quay. Dinners with Deborah Kimitete and Philippe and Cecilia. Sponsorship of the Children's Va'a program. Linda's Studio Maluhia.
The quay with Henri's cafe
Every afternoon va'a glided past Jacaranda's stern as the paddlers practiced.
Moetai looking at this square rigger is a poignant sight - what did the original Marquesans think when the European explorers arrived in these strange vessels?
When Dave and Kim went to the US for 2 weeks, we watched their boat and they let Linda use Maluhia as an art studio. A lot of creativity going on here in the artistic mess of their transformed salon
Moorish Idol Fabric Mosaic (WIP) resulting from Linda's Studio Maluhia
TAHITI IN TRANSIT
Returning from our US family visit in December, we overnighted in Papeete, Tahiti and went to see a wonderful annual dance competition with our visa agent's aunt, Corinne.
FAREWELL - "APEI"
One of our last Marquesan sunsets in Hanamoenoa Bay (we nicknamed it "Green Flash Bay" ) where we made landfall almost one year earlier.
(Photo by Lynn Dorning of svAmurula)
MORE PHOTOS: In the "Photo Gallery" for Passage Note #85
Next: Off to new adventures in the Tuamotus!!